Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, responding to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee report into the funding of children’s services, said:
“This hard-hitting report highlights the risks of continuing to starve children’s services of the vital funds they need to protect our most vulnerable children. We are spending more and more on children at crisis point, and less on preventing and tackling problems early when they are cheaper and when early help is most effective. Not only is this unsustainable financially, but is also lets down the many vulnerable children who are not receiving the help they need.
“We cannot just continue to cross our fingers and hope that vulnerable children will be alright and this report must be a final wake up call to the Government. This year’s Spending Review is the moment to act. Ministers must accept that children’s services are in desperate need of funding to improve what they offer children, rather than just stand still or go backwards, and that some failing authorities need more help.
“If we are to turn around the lives of the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children in England, the Government has to make investment in early help for families a priority and it must develop a long term plan to reduce the disadvantage gap, the school readiness gap, the number of school exclusions.“